Ancient Monuments

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Resugga Castle later prehistoric univallate hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in St. Stephen-in-Brannel, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3234 / 50°19'24"N

Longitude: -4.8957 / 4°53'44"W

OS Eastings: 193972.550495

OS Northings: 51066.076524

OS Grid: SW939510

Mapcode National: GBR ZR.1M9L

Mapcode Global: FRA 08M5.Y7T

Entry Name: Resugga Castle later prehistoric univallate hillfort

Scheduled Date: 6 July 1959

Last Amended: 27 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017685

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15007

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Stephen-in-Brannel

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Stephen-in-Brannel

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a small, singly-embanked hillfort, sub-circular,
flattened to the SE side, and with a single entrance to the NW. The entrance
faces an outer enclosure also with an entrance to the NW and defined on the NW
side by outworks comprising two banks and ditches. A ditch and double bank
projects NW from the entrance to the outer enclosure. The hillfort encloses a
sub-circular area 70m by 60m, markedly flattened along its SE side where it
follows the crest of a steep scarp down to the St Stephens River. The
interior, which is featureless, is enclosed by a single well-preserved earth
and rubble rampart, standing 2m high and 10m wide along the NW side, with
slightly expanded terminals bordering the entrance gap, and reduced to 0.5m
high along the SE side. The outer ditch remains l - 1.5m deep, with a rock-
cut outer face visible in places; a recent dry-stone supporting wall is also
visible in some parts of the ditch outer face, notably in the S and W sectors.
Beyond the NW sector of the enclosure, an outer enclosure has been defined by
two portions of rampart c.45m long, each parallel with, and 35-40m from, the
main enclosure, and separated by an entrance gap in line with that of the main
hillfort enclosure. These ramparts each survive to 2m high and 10m wide, and
have an outer ditch 1-1.5m deep. Beyond their ditches, a hollowed route-way
formed by a double bank and central ditch extends in a straight line NW from
the enclosure entrance for c.55m, continued beyond that point by the course of
a single recent hedge bank extending the line of the northern bank.
The monument straddles the summit of Crow Hill, its main enclosure lying on
the gentle SE slope bordering a steep scarp down to the St Stephens River
close to its confluence with the River Fal. The site lies on Devonian slates
SW of the Hensbarrow Downs granite mass, in a hilly terrain deeply dissected
by small rivers. It has excellent long-distance views over the surrounding
countryside, especially to the west. As a result of its prominent position
and good preservation this monument has attracted antiquarian interest since
the early 19th century, but it has not been subject to any recorded
The granite gatepost lying at the N side of the main enclosure entrance, and
the post-and-wire fence crossing the S sector of the outer enclosure are
excluded from the scheduling but the land beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hill forts are defended enclosures situated towards or on
the top of a hill and defined by a single line of earthworks, usually
enclosing an area under 10ha. They form one of a range of known types of
fortified enclosure dating to the later Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. They
present a considerable variety of enclosure shapes and entrance forms, and
have been viewed in various roles including permanent settlements, centres for
trade and exchange, refuges in times of crisis, and stock enclosures. Where
excavated, structures within the enclosures have included round, square or
rectangular houses, usually post-built but sometimes of stone, storage pits,
hearths, and scatters of post and stake holes and gullies. The material
recovered from these excavations has included human burials, domestic debris
and evidence for small-scale industrial activities such as bronze and iron
working. Ramparts may be formed simply from dumped earth or rubble, or a dry-
stone wall, or they may have a more complex structure with timber or stone
retaining walls, or various types of timber internal reinforcements. Most
excavated examples have also revealed post-holes for gate structures in the
rampart entrances. About 150 slight univallate hillforts are recorded
nationally, commonest in central southern England, the Chilterns, south-west
England, the Cotswolds and the Welsh Marches, with lesser numbers in central
and northern England. They are important as nationally rare monuments which
contribute significantly to our knowledge of settlement types, and economic
and social developments in the late Bronze Age and Iron Age. Consequently all
such monuments which show good evidence typical of the known types and their
regional variations would normally be considered of national importance.
Resugga Castle is a particularly well-preserved hillfort, showing several
features common to a number of south-western hillforts, notably the small size
of the enclosure, its location overlooking a steep river valley, its limited
outworks crossing the line of approach, and the embanked approach beyond those
outworks. Its prominence and preservation have attracted antiquarian comment
since the early 19th century and it recurs as a quoted example of its class in
major discussions of the Iron Age in south-west England.

Source: Historic England


copy of management agreement documtn, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 20898, Resugga Castle (managemnt agr),
copy of the 1988 AM 107 for this site, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 20898, Resugga Castle,
Fox, A., South-West England, (1964)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6": 1 mile Map
Source Date: 1963

Source: Historic England

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